THE BEST DIET OF ALL TIME

What’s the best diet?

As a fitness professional, one question I hear all the time is, “which diet or nutrition plan do you recommend for best results?”

“Is it Paleo? Vegan? Intermittent fasting? Should I detox first?” etc etc etc

Everyone wants to know the “secret diet” for best results.

Let me share the secret: there is NO secret or ‘best’ diet. I know that may sound upsetting and maybe you don’t quite believe me when you read this but let me explain why.

Everyone of us is so different. You and I have many differences, as do you and everyone else in this world. Just to prove this is true, here are just a few differences many of us have:

• Body type: Some are tall and thin; others short and stocky. Or everything in between.

• Fitness level and body composition: Some are active, strong, lean, and dense. Some have been sedentary for the last 50 years and may be frail, without a lot of muscle.

• Dietary preferences and exclusions: Whether kosher or halal; plant-based or carnivore; scavenger or “picky eater”; iron stomach or “allergic to everything”, we all have a vast range of food preferences and many reasons for them.

• Budget: Some of us might be struggling students, some are middle-class families trying to make ends meet, or highly paid executives — maybe even a pro athlete.

• Organic / conventional: Some of us live on boxed and packaged foods. Some try to read labels, sometimes. Some of us may choose only kale that has been lovingly grown by a sect of Californian monks who hand-pluck the bugs off.

• Nutrition knowledge and diet history: Some of us will be faithful followers of a certain dietary practice, or a history of trying different diets. Others have very little nutrition knowledge at all.

• Time: Some of us have an open schedule, ready for any kind of health and fitness project. Others have a crowded daily schedule and countless conflicting priorities.

• Ethnic background and heritage: I work with clients all over the world. A meal or cuisine that suits your lifestyle may not suit someone who lives in another country or distant state, city or town.

• Age: As we age, our metabolisms change, our food tolerances and appetites change, and our digestive abilities change. You get the picture.

So when someone asks me what the ‘best’ diet is out there…it depends on each and every one of us and the differences we have.

You can be healthy and fit whether you eat mostly meat or mostly veggies, mostly fat or mostly carbohydrates, many times a day or just a few times, and so on. When working with a client, I ask them to track their foods for a few days and then we review the foods they enjoy most and how to make their meals work for them in reaching their goals; while not making them feel deprived of what they enjoy about their favorite foods.

What do they need to be their best?

GOOD NUTRITION IS MORE SIMILAR THAN DIFFERENT.

You might be wondering:

How can such varied diets all keep people fit and healthy? Well, despite their differences, most effective nutrition programs are more alike than different. Here’s how:

1. Good nutrition asks people to care about their food and eating.
Research shows that your actual choices are probably less important than simply paying better attention to what you eat. When you really care about what you eat, and make mindful, deliberate choices, you almost inevitably eat better.

2. Good nutrition focuses on food quality.
Almost no decent diet plan asks you to eat more processed, nutrient-depleted pseudo-food. Instead, pretty much every plan recommends eating whole, minimally processed, nutrient rich foods — foods that our body has a longstanding relationship with.
Regardless of the macronutrient breakdowns or specific choices, just eating better quality food will improve most of our health significantly.

3. Good nutrition helps eliminate nutrient deficiencies.
When we care about what we eat, choose foods mindfully, and try to get the best-quality foods we can afford, we usually get lots of valuable nutrients as a bonus. Many times, when people start a certain diet program, they just start eating better overall. They get more nutrients.
They may get more variety.
Or fresher foods.
Or less-processed foods.
Or foods they chose mindfully. Because of these factors, they feel better. And that’s one reason they start making wild claims about the rejuvenating power of their new diet. They didn’t do anything special, really. They often just started getting what their bodies needed.

4. Good nutrition helps control appetite and food intake. For most people, “it’s hard to eat just one” of the hyper-addictive deliciousness of processed foods. We often keep eating and eating them, but never feel satisfied.

We may also eat them on the go, when we’re rushed and busy.

So not only are we eating foods that encourage us to eat more of them, we’re not even really paying attention to the experience at all.

On the other hand, when we’re more aware of what we’re eating; choose a variety of more satisfying, higher-quality foods; and eliminate nutrient deficiencies, we almost always end up eating less food overall.

We feel more satisfied — both physiologically and psychologically.

We lose fat, gain muscle, and perform better. Notice that you don’t need calorie counting here.

Focusing on food awareness and food quality is usually enough for people to tune into their own hunger and appetite. That means calorie control without the annoying calorie math. (cuz I don’t love math) 🙂

5. Good nutrition promotes regular exercise.
When you start paying attention to what you are eating, you usually start thinking about physical activity too.
Or vice versa: If you take up an activity you love, eventually you start wondering if your nutrition could help you do that activity better.

Good nutrition fits with regular activity like a key into a lock. And most nutrition programs suggest that people exercise along with eating well.

Hopefully this information helped you understand the basis of a good meal plan and that most of them are more similar than we think.

If you need help with your meal planning, shoot me an email today: kathyprofitness@gmail.com

Free Yourself From Your Diet Forever

Have you ever been fed up with your weight highs and lows? Are you constantly searching for the next best way to lose the weight and keep it off?

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Ya, I’ve been there about a million times before too. It’s not a fun place to live and I decided one day to just stop living there.

Period.

I seriously decided that I had enough with diets and finally freed myself from the bondage they held over me. I fought for awhile on working out excessively for hours in the gym or running outside, to be the most shredded I had ever been…but then I realized that this type of intense living only fits the elite fitness competitors in their ON SEASON only. They have OFF SEASON weights and training periods too…and we tend to think that we need to look like the “perfect” (whatever that means) body day in and day out. Talk about fantasies!

This woke me up to being satisfied with feeling healthy, happy and then ultimately FREE from diets!

Wanna come? I’ll share how!

It won’t take long grueling hours in the gym, or even long hours working out at home. It won’t take starving your body or living off of carrot sticks and water. It won’t even feel as hard as you are imagining after you learn what works for your body and your life.

Bottom line? It’s actually kind of easy once you adapt to the changes and fire the old habits!

Now, in a few months time, the gyms and diet centers are going to be packed like sardine cans again. At least for a few weeks, or until everyone gets fed up with their all or nothing approach again. But guess what? That doesn’t have to be you this year! You can simply decide today that you are going to fire your diets forever.

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Think of what we are leaving behind: obsessing over calories and carbs or whatever the diet of the season is; watching the scale go up and down and up like a crazy bunny rabbit dance; losing 10 lbs (yay!) only to gain 15 back shortly after (BOO!) and thinking we are only worth as much as the size of our jeans.

It’s time to do the most crazy thing you’ve ever done and stop dieting forever.

Diets are now forbidden.   

I bet you are a bit terrified of this thought. Right? I know that I was. It felt like I was giving up on myself and the “control” I had on my weight. But there was never any control to begin with. It was actually a game of binge and purge over and over again. Which messes with our bodies, metabolism and minds and keeps us stuck in misery as long as we allow ourselves to be. Knowledge here is power, my friend. And today, you are going to be more powerful over your decisions than ever before.

My fear when I made the switch was that I would start to eat uncontrollably and the weight would skyrocket uncontrollably and then I’d be completely lost and ashamed.

That never happened.

It just didn’t. I stopped putting the focus on the scale, and — almost miraculously — my obsessive habits with food and my body started to melt away.

Granted, I was coming to the idea that balance, moderation, and loving your body were the key ingredients to a healthy, happy life — so I wasn’t starting from scratch.

But even so, it was almost surreal to me. It was actually working. I maintain my weight now, within a 5 lb range and never worry about holidays, travel periods or weekends anymore. I don’t even weigh myself at all so it’s amusing when I see someone after a few months and they say something like, “you’re soooo thin!” Funny thing is, I don’t lose weight anymore so this couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve been 150-ish lbs (give or take 5 lbs at a time) for well over 10 years now. (exception during my fitness competition period of 6 months that I dropped down to the 140’s but cannot live that extreme without shutting down my body again)

Maintaining my weight was the best decision I have made on my body ever. I have been a group fitness instructor and personal trainer for over 20 years and you’d think it would be easy for me…but not so much! I dealt with the same stresses, emotions, cravings and struggles as anyone else. Knowing better but still being stuck in diet mentality only made me feel more guilty over time when I was struggling much like my clients.  I knew they thought it was easier for me so I would have to pretend I wasn’t struggling…but one day I decided to just tell them. I told everyone.

It’s hard for me too! I struggle like you do too! So I don’t look like I struggle as much because I’m much closer to my goals but it’s freaking hard for me too! 

That felt so much better!

Step 1: Tell anyone and everyone what you are doing and stop pretending that you aren’t struggling. Ya, I know it sounds crazy and why would anyone care; but trust me on this one. You’ll not only be holding yourself more accountable than ever but you’ll also be piquing their interest to follow along if you succeed because I’ll bet you that 99.9% of the people you tell are struggling in their own ways too!

Step 2: Clean out the garbage in your head!  At first, I was tempted to return to dieting almost every single day. When my weight would fluctuate (for a million reasons to which I understood but for some reason thought the facts didn’t apply to me); or when I felt bloated after a meal; or when I saw a picture of someone more fit and shredded than I was; or when I found my super small jeans in the back of my drawer (a size I thought meant happiness to me but really wasn’t healthy in the long run).

The pressure to jump back on the diet bandwagon was almost deafening.

I’d see an image of my thighs and think, “ugggh”. I’d hear conversations around me on joining the next detox or “after the holidays” purge and need to reassess my mind again.

Our minds are full of the clutter we’ve allowed to gather over the past 10, 15, 20 or more years. It’s time to decide whether we are going to clean it out or allow it to control our lives forever.

Truth? It takes time to clean out. Just like it took time to learn. I know we are all about instant change and overnight success but those aren’t even real so let’s just grow up and realize the ridiculousness of those ideas.

Loving yourself; mind and body, takes time. But it’s on the journey of finding your peace and love that the beauty happens.

I look back at who I was before and am shocked at how much I don’t recognize her. I definitely remember feeling helpless, hopeless and unhappy with myself but I no longer feel the negativity of those past behaviors.

Step 3: Move more and stop counting the minutes.  This one was tough for me to do after being a gym junkie forever, and still loving hard core workouts. But it’s in those days that I really don’t have the energy to push to level 10; or when I’m traveling; or life is a bit more stressful or my schedule shifts, that I start to panic about my workouts and being “perfectly” perfect about the reps, weights, time and intensity. Yes, these will always be important to me but in times of my life that I can’t keep up with longer and harder training sessions…I just do something.

I upload apps on my phone to track my walks and runs. I head out for a 30-45 minute session and it ends up NOT feeling like a workout but I come home sweating and happier than ever. Or I’ll put my music on and run through a few short circuits at home and just have fun. No pressure to hit a certain range or push to new heights…it’s in these moments that just showing up is the key to success.

The funny thing is, when the stresses or travels would end, I’d be longing to get back to my “normal” routine again and my body didn’t miss a beat because I had been active in the meantime and it actually helped me become fitter or stronger in new areas. Talk about a win-win!

Step 4: Give yourself time.  This step may be the hardest to accept at first, but once you do, you’ll be surprised at how much you change in your body – just by changing your mind. For me, it happened slowly. I was already within 20 lbs of my goal weight so the losses were slower than those that have more to lose but I wasn’t in a rush. I kept telling myself that this was my new way of life and that this would be more meaningful than the fast losses from my past (which only lead to fast gains so I had to remind myself of that truth). I ate normally during this time, and that was a strange feeling! No more cooking different foods for my family any more. I ate in the 2,000 calorie range but didn’t really count calories after awhile. I never restricted foods and I eventually stopped following any certain “plans” other than finding new ideas and recipes along the way.

It was more about listening to my body, using common sense (I did know better by the way!), followed moderation instead of overload or deprivation and made choices that helped me feel balanced, energetic and happy. I still allow regular “treats” for myself along the way too but it’s funny how much the treats have changed over the years too! 🙂

 

I’ve maintained my weight now and never diet. I am now happy with who I am, where I am and my size and weight are no longer a secret! Go ahead and ask me, I’ll be proud to share!Trust me, it’s worth it! 

Should you try life without dieting?

I don’t know. I’m not here to make choices for you. That’s your job.

I’m here to share my story and hope that it influences you in a positive way.

For me, breaking up with dieting was my way of letting go of a lot of negative behaviors and mental patterns I’d built up over the years. So I stopped dieting, but I also did a lot of inside work so I could stop doing a lot of other things, too (like hate-talking to myself in the mirror, ugh).

So, really, what I’m asking you to do is start your own  journey. Make a commitment to be kinder to yourself. To consider that changes made out of love and respect last longer and work better than changes made out of hate. Work on bringing more joy and positivity into your life. Then see what happens.

If you need more help, feel free to message me today and we can work one on one to help you succeed in firing your diet mentality and reaching your goals forever too!

KathyProFitness@gmail.com 

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